Mark Hurd: A Study in Dedication

Mark Hurd

Today’s society is obsessed with the idea of getting rich quick. Teenage talents are discovered, their voices or dancing ability is displayed to the public, and suddenly they become richer than they ever imagined. Someone wins the lottery and becomes a millionaire overnight. A woman writes a fan fiction story, develops it into a novel, and suddenly is one of the best selling novelists alive. A high school athlete has an incredible talent, turns pro as soon as he is able, and then becomes a high paid superstar within no time.


Stories of people whose lives changed in an incredibly short amount of time and left them with a windfall of money capture the American imagination. Everyone dreams of becoming rich with only a minimum amount of effort and often they do they feel entitled to more than they have earned. They dream of the life of the 1 percent, but don’t make the efforts to become one of the 1% themselves.


Mark Hurd the CEO of Oracle,  is undoubtedly a successful businessman. He has the life that many people only wish they had. But that success was not given to him at birth. He was not born a prince or the heir to some media corporation or hotel mogul. Mark Hurd came by his wealth in the same way that most people do: through hard work.  He has been a proven leader at Oracle and continues his leadership today.

Born in New York City and raised in Miami, Florida, Mark Hurd left the east coast at age 18 to pursue an education at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He attended the school on a tennis scholarship and juggled his tennis requirements with his full academic schedule and his fraternity duties.


During his senior year, Mark Hurd was often traveling for a week at a time for tennis competitions, missing that week’s classes and having to make up the work later. He also served as the president of his fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, and performed all of the duties required from him in that position. Mark Hurd learned very early the necessity of time management, and finished his senior year on time, graduating from Baylor with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1979.


From there Mark Hurd began work as a junior salesman for NCR Corp. Note that he did not immediately begin in a high paying management position. Instead, he had to spend 14 years working his way up the ladder of NCR Corp rung by rung. Mark Hurd served in several different capacities as a salesman, manager, assistant director and director of various divisions in the company.


It wasn’t until 1994 that Mark Hurd received his big break, earning a promotion to the vice president position of the Teradata Division of NCR. He was promoted again in 1998, and then in 2000 was named the President of NCR Corp. Mark Hurd’s successes came quickly after that, being named COO and CEO for NCR Corp, serving until 2005 before leaving to take the position of CEO at HP.


Mark Hurd’s wealth and success from his time at HP and beyond have been well documented elsewhere, and his name is now one of the most recognized in the world of business technology. However, it was not without an incredible amount of ambition, dedication, and hard work that Mark Hurd became the man that he is today.

UPDATE: There has been a lot of updates regarding Mark Hurd and his career. You can follow Mark Hurd on Twitter.